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Outcomes Assessment

Designing Evaluation Rubrics

The direct measures of student learning in each business program must be accompanied by appropriate evaluation rubrics for assessing student performance on the learning measures.

> Designing Evaluation Rubrics

Designing RubricsEvaluating Student Learning in Business Programs

In assessing the extent to which students are achieving the intended learning outcomes in their programs of study, the criteria for evaluating their performance on the measures used to assess their learning must be clear and explicit. In other words, faculty and other evaluator judgments regarding student work and performance must be captured as clearly as possible in explicit language. Consequently, once intended student learning outcomes have been articulated and learning assessment measures have been determined, the academic business unit must develop evaluation rubrics for each direct measure of student learning (except in the case of multiple-choice, objective-type, comprehensive examinations).

Evaluation Rubrics

RubricEvaluation rubrics articulate in writing the criteria and performance standards that faculty and other evaluators use in assessing student work. They translate evaluator judgments of student performance into ratings on a scale and allow different evaluators to assess student work in reasonably similar ways. An evaluation rubric can be defined as follows:

Evaluation Rubric: A criterion-based instrument that (i) specifies expectations or evaluation criteria for an assignment or task, i.e., that disaggregates the assignment or task into its component dimensions, (ii) provides a rating scale or other mechanism for assessing various levels of mastery on each criterion or dimension, and (iii) is used as a scoring tool to evaluate student performance on that assignment or task

In addition to component dimensions that are used for assigning a grade or mark to an assignment or task, in order for rubrics to be used for the purpose of program-level assessment, they must also contain evaluation criteria that are related to the programmatic intended student learning outcomes that will be assessed and evaluated in the assignment or task. These criteria should be aligned with, mapped to, or identical to the programmatic intended student learning outcomes.

Evaluation rubrics can be used for assessing a large variety of assignments and tasks, including research papers, case studies, group work, capstone projects, oral presentations, portfolios, essays, dissertations, theses, internships, and other performance-based projects or experiences, etc.

Types of Rubrics

  • Checklist Rubrics: rubrics that list component dimensions or evaluation criteria for an assignment or task along with a binary performance rating scale for each dimension/criterion (e.g., met or not met, done or not done, etc.)
  • Rating Scale Rubrics: checklist rubrics with expanded rating scales (i.e., with more than two performance levels)
  • Descriptive Rubrics: rubrics that specify component dimensions or evaluation criteria for an assignment or task and provide a rating scale that is augmented with brief descriptions of the levels of performance on each dimension/criterion
  • Holistic Scoring Guides: rubrics that specify a rating scale with multiple performance levels and provide brief descriptions (relating to the component dimensions or evaluation criteria for an assignment or task) of the characteristics, features, or attributes of work that are associated with each performance level
  • Structured Observation Guides: rubrics without a rating scale that allow for informal, qualitative, subjective assessment of performance on the component dimensions or evaluation criteria for an assignment or task

Rubric Templates

Sample templates for the various rubric types are illustrated below:

Checklist Rubric
Evaluation Criteria Met Not Met
Evaluation Criterion #1
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #2
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #3
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #4
Comments:
Rating Scale Rubric
Evaluation Criteria Rating Scale or Performance Levels
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Evaluation Criterion #1
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #2
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #3
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #4
Comments:
Rating Scale Rubric (Alternative Structure)
Rating Scale or Performance Levels: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Score
Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criterion #1  
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #2  
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #3  
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #4  
Comments:
Total Score  
Descriptive Rubric
Evaluation Criteria Rating Scale or Performance Levels Score
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Evaluation Criterion #1 Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #2 Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #3 Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
Evaluation Criterion #4 Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
Total Score:  
Holistic Scoring Guide
Performance
Level 3
A ‘Level 3’ task/assignment generally exhibits all or most of the following characteristics:
Descriptors for Level 3 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #1
Descriptors for Level 3 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #2
Descriptors for Level 3 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #3
Descriptors for Level 3 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #4
Comments:
Performance
Level 2
A ‘Level 2’ task/assignment generally exhibits all or most of the following characteristics:
Descriptors for Level 2 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #1
Descriptors for Level 2 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #2
Descriptors for Level 2 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #3
Descriptors for Level 2 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #4
Comments:
Performance
Level 1
A ‘Level 1’ task/assignment generally exhibits all or most of the following characteristics:
Descriptors for Level 1 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #1
Descriptors for Level 1 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #2
Descriptors for Level 1 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #3
Descriptors for Level 1 Performance on Evaluation Criterion #4
Comments:
Score:  
Structured Observation Guide
Evaluation Criteria Comments
Evaluation Criterion #1  
Evaluation Criterion #2  
Evaluation Criterion #3  
Evaluation Criterion #4  

These templates in editable form are provided in the document below:

Rubric Templates (DOCX)

Developing Evaluation Rubrics for Program Assessment

There are two options for developing an evaluation rubric for the purpose of program-level assessment, i.e., for assessing the intended student learning outcomes (ISLOs) in a business program:

  • Option 1: If you will be using a particular assignment or task as a direct measure of student learning, and you have an existing grading rubric for that assignment or task that contains evaluation criteria that are related to some or all of the programmatic ISLOs, then you can map the grading criteria in the rubric to the appropriate ISLOs in the program.
  • Option 2: You can retain the grading portion of an existing evaluation rubric for an assignment or task that will be used as a direct measure of student learning, and add a section that contains the programmatic ISLOs as direct evaluation criteria.

Option 1

Start with a basic grading rubric (here a descriptive rubric) and map the assignment/task grading criteria to the relevant program-level ISLOs:

Assignment/Task Grading Rubric
Assignment/Task
Grading Criteria
Associated Programmatic
ISLOs
Rating Scale or Performance Levels Score
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Grading Criterion #1    (Maps to)  ISLO # Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
Grading Criterion #2    (Maps to)  ISLO # Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
Grading Criterion #3    (Maps to)  ISLO # Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
etc. ISLO # Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
Total Score:  

Note: If you employ this option, ensure that you will be able to provide assessment results for each ISLO that is assessed by the direct measure of student learning with which the rubric is associated.

Option 2

Start with a basic grading rubric (here a descriptive rubric) and include the programmatic ISLOs verbatim as explicit and direct evaluation criteria in an additional section of the rubric:

Section #: Assessment of Program ISLOs
Evaluation Criteria:
Program ISLOs
Rating Scale or Performance Levels Score
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
ISLO #1 Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
ISLO #2 Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
ISLO #3 Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
etc. Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors Performance Descriptors  
Comments:
Total Score:  

Sample Rubrics

Examples of evaluation rubrics that can be used for assigning a grade or mark to various types of assignments, tasks, and projects, and also for the purpose of program-level assessment, i.e., for assessing the programmatic intended student learning outcomes in a business program, are provided below:

Example of a Business Plan Evaluation Rubric (PDF)

Example of a Case-Study Evaluation Rubric (PDF)

Example of a Portfolio Evaluation Rubric (PDF)

Example of a Research Project Evaluation Rubric (PDF)

Example of a Supervisor Evaluation of Internship Rubric (PDF)

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